Monday, 2 July 2012

TransFormers Collectors' Club 2005-2009 Members Incentive Gestalt (Timelines) Nexus Prime/Maximus

(Members Incentive Monday #8)
It's impossible to discuss this, the completed gestalt result of Fun Publications' first five years of running the TransFormers Collectors' Club, without briefly touching on the controversy of its name. After much to-ing and fro-ing between Fun Publications and Hasbro, the name 'Nexus Maximus' was agreed upon but, by sheer coincidence, this name was already taken by... a certain other 'adult toy'. When this was revealed to the Club and Hasbro, they hurriedly changed the name to 'Nexus Prime', and told the world they had done a 'safe search' on the original name, by way of an explanation for the slip-up. It's a wholly believable story, but ever so slightly sloppy.
For the first four years, the club gave away the equivalent of a Scout-class figure, each a recolouring of one of the 'limbs' from the Energon/Superlink Bruticus Maximus and Superion Maximus gestalts. 2009 brought the torso part, Heatwave, and the remolded gestalt head (built up from certain aspects of the components' heads). Each part was molded using a good deal of translucent plastic, so the end result is quite striking, moreso when lit up.

Of course, it's about as poseable as any of the Energon/Superlink gestalts (which is to say not very), and there's some debate over his 'true' form - which limb goes where. The first appearance of the gestalt was as a stonecarving with one arrangement of limbs, but the final appearance of the robot in its complete form was completely different. It also lacked the large crests of the stonecarving, which were derived from Energon/Superlink Bruticus Maximus.

The fact is that a gestalt like this proves that Hasbro/Takara Tomy were really underachieving with their Energon/Superlink gestalts. The whole thing of only having two limb molds and using each one twice in different colour schemes was clearly a great money- and time-saver, but it left the gestalts looking cheap and incomplete. I'd concede that they looked more consistent - they could be arranged with mold-mate legs and arms, if one so desired - but I always felt that the whole point of the gestalts was their very awkwardness. Five different vehicles/robots coming together to form one giant robot, the clashing personalities made manifest by the different physical forms of the components... Only changing their paint jobs just wasn't the same...
DSC01738.JPG DSC01739.JPG DSC01740.JPG DSC01741.JPG DSC01742.JPG DSC01744.JPG DSC01745.JPG

Nexus Prime works well, in that his four limbs are all different (albeit culled from only two of the three Energon/Superlink gestalt sets) and, while their colour schemes aren't identical, they are at least complementary. It's a shame that there's only one blue limb - Skyfall - but he doesn't look too out of place.

The new head mold is a bit of a disappointment, I have to say. The sculpt itself is OK, definitely looks like a Prime, and takes some design elements from the heads of each of the component limbs... but the paint job doesn't do it justice. It's the same infuriatingly flat red that was used on each of the components, with details painted in yellow and the sliver of visible 'face' in black.

One cool thing is that there's a tiny bit of paintwork from Heatwave that only becomes visible on Nexus Prime - the truck's cab has black trim on the underside, around the headlights. You wouldn't notice it in vehicle mode, and it's on Heatwave's back in robot mode... but on Nexus Prime it's there on his chest and, despite its subtlety, it really does made a difference.

The main problem with all of the Energon/Superlink gestalts is that the torso's legs - particularly the hip joints - were never really strong enough to adequately support combined mode, so getting any dramatic poses out of one was troublesome. This collection does better than either my Bruticus or my Superion, and the fact that the Barricade mold does actually have waist articulation certainly improves things, but it's still not very stable.

It's a real shame that the Club has (so far) not created a set of proper hands and feet for Nexus Prime, though I guess that keeps him as adaptable as possible. Whereas the Crossfire set fixes each limb's position in the gestalt to better evoke G1 Bruticus, keeping to the original Energon/Superlink 'manipulator-things' means one can build Nexus Prime as per the fiction, or to any preferred scheme.

I can honestly say that having the complete Nexus Prime figure does validate the concept of a 5-year Membership gestalt, even if the components didn't, and I'm glad I shelled out for Skyfall when I first became a member.

No comments:

Post a Comment